Kennedy: Biden should seek domestic oil rather than OPEC

Staff Report

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy and 23 Republican colleagues urged President Joe Biden to reverse his decision to ask OPEC and its allies to increase oil production in response to rising gas prices.

A return to domestic oil production would ease prices, reduce dependence on foreign oil and boost the economy, Kennedy said.

Sen. John Kennedy

“It is astonishing that your Administration is now seeking assistance from an international oil cartel when America has sufficient domestic supply and reserves to increase output, which would reduce gasoline prices,” he said. “The best and most effective way to reduce the cost of gasoline at the pump is to unleash clean, affordable and reliable American energy.”

Kennedy, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and other GOP senators believe Biden should reopen domestic drilling and construction on the Keystone Pipeline to stop the spike at the pump.

“We are surprised by your recent actions in calling on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to increase oil production in response to rising gasoline prices. Since your first day in office, your Administration has pursued policies that have restricted and threatened American oil and gas development, which has had devastating consequences for American workers and consumers. It is astonishing that your Administration is now seeking assistance from an international oil cartel when America has sufficient domestic supply and reserves to increase output which would reduce gasoline prices,” the senators wrote. 

“Last month, gasoline prices reached a seven-year high and are 40 percent higher than they were on January 1, 2021. It is no surprise how we got here. Your Administration’s domestic oil and gas development policies are hurting American consumers and workers, are contrary to an ‘America First’ energy agenda, and reinforce a reliance on foreign oil,” they continued.

“We agree with your intent to reduce the cost of gas for hardworking Americans, but your domestic policy agenda has proven to have the opposite effect and continues to threaten American jobs and family budgets. We urge your Administration to revise its regulatory agenda and legislative priorities as it relates to domestic oil and gas development. The best and most effective way to reduce the cost of gasoline at the pump is to unleash clean, affordable and reliable American energy,” they concluded.

The request came as the price per gallon surged more than $1.00 higher since Biden took office Jan. 20.

His plea to OPEC nations also follows news that the July consumer price index reached 5.4 percent, the largest monthly increase since August 2008.

Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) also signed the letter.